Teenagers, eh? Don’t you just love them. To be fair, I seem to have a pretty decent model. So far. Anyway, it was hard enough beginning to come to terms with me having MS, far less breaking it to him. He knew there was something wrong, he just wasn’t sure what. He realised I was tired, a bit snappier than usual and I was traipsing back and forward to the hospital, the doctor’s, etc. I was very organised. I had already ordered a kid’s guide to MS, full of reassuring pictures in primary colours and simple text. So, we had to have The Conversation.
The scene was set. I had cooked his favourite dinner, presented him with dessert (normally only on a Sunday), and managed to pin him to the sofa long enough to have a heart-to-heart. It went something like this:
Me: Um, you know, yes. Well, it’s like this. See?
Him: Uh, no?
Me: Well, you know all those appointments I’ve been having? It seems I have something called multiple sclerosis. Nothing to worry about, just thought you should know. Oh, and here’s a little guide for you to have a read of. In your own time, you know? Now, is there anything you want to ask me?
Him: D’uh. Like, I know? Like, I’m on all the forums. I can even pronounce it. I know all about it. Can I go now?
Me: I really think we should talk about this.
Him: Ok. Are you going to die?
Me: Not from MS, no.
Him: Will you be in a wheelchair?
Me: Not for a really long while, if at all.
Him: (jumps up) Cool. See ya!
And there you have it. How not to have an awkward conversation with The Teenager. As long as I don’t appear disabled or different to all the other mums he sees, everything is great. And maybe that’s the way it should be. As a little family, we have just absorbed MS as part of our lives.
He does enjoy calling me ‘special’ though….